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Fifth Ezra: The Text, Origin and Early History
Theodore A. Bergren
SCS 25
Publication Date
January 1997


“The pseudepigraphical work known as 5 Ezra comprises the first two chapters of a sixteen-chapter work that circulates under the name 2 Esdras. … In eight chapters Bergren addresses the fundamental questions of date, authorship, provenance, original language, and textual history. In the introduction he provides a survey of the scholarly literature and than sketches out his conclusions that 5 Ezra was a Christian composition and that although extant in Latin it may well have been written in Greek originally…, perhaps in the second to fourth centuries CE. … Bergren’s study of this small work is comprehensive and convincing. In every case he exercises caution in formulating conclusions based on data that at times are only suggestive, but the cumulative effect of his arguments leads one to agree with the assessments he makes in his introduction.”
—Benjamin G. Wright III, Journal of Biblical Literature

“Fifth Ezra has not received much attention previously, perhaps because it lay in the shadow of the larger 4 Ezra. Theodore Bergren has rectified this lack, and his carefully argued conclusions should stimulate more discussion of this small work. … Bergren has provided scholars with a solid textual basis for understanding 5 Ezra and future work on it will be indebted to him. His analysis suggests that 5 Ezra is an important piece for understanding relationships between Jews and Christians in the second through the fourth centuries.”
— Robert Doran, Catholic Biblical Quarterly